- Published: August 30, 2022
- Updated: August 30, 2022
- University / College: Georgia Institute of Technology
- Level: Doctor of Philosophy
- Language: English
- Downloads: 48
06 November “ The Wolf” by Giovanni Verga: “ The Wolf” is a ic Sicilian short story written by Giovanni Verga. It is about a middle-aged woman who is given the name “ The Wolf” by the narrator because of her strikingly strong character. She is very different from other men and women in the story. She is highly possessive and always wants to get her way. Her libido is quite aggressive which makes her go to some very extreme measures. For example, she forces herself upon a young soldier in town before and after giving her daughter away to him against her wish. This essay seeks to explore the use of allegory, symbolism, and realism in this story because it is full of them. Also, it will explore if any of the three main characters, Mother Pina, Nanni, or Maricchia bear any resemblance to some other important characters I have read so far.
There are beautiful examples of symbolism in the short story by Verga. For example, in the beginning of the story, Verga uses the words “ fresh red lips” to symbolize the fiery nature of Pina. Those red lips are symbolic of the fact that she is a ferocious woman who would go to any length to satiate her never-ending appetite. They also symbolize her youth and energy which is so powerful that it can devour a person literally. Among many other men, this vigorous energy devours Father Angiolino who loses his soul because of her. It is said that she was always seen walking by herself in the village looking for something like some famished wolf. These words, “ the famished wolf” are used to symbolize the hungry nature of Pina which motivates her to engage in a relentless search for someone or anyone. “ The Wolf” is an allegory that uses a wild woman to describe how devastating uncontrollable lust can be. Pina in this story ventures out for hunt when other good women stay at home. This lust destroys her daughter’s home and drives Nanni, Pina’s love interest, mad. The wolf represents the wild nature which destroys everything that comes in its way. Realism is the way things are kept real or practical instead of making them appear pretty to the audience or readers. For example, Nanni, the young soldier, is described as a very careless person with greasy and filthy hair. His body has a foul odor. These things about him are presented to readers as they are without any cushioning.
Maricchia’s character reminds me of Toshiko in “ Swaddling Clothes.” This is because both women are oversensitive. Both are married to men with whom they do not get to spend a lot of time because of frustrating hurdles in the way. Pina is the hurdle for Maricchia because her mother wants to keep her daughter’s husband all to herself, while Toshiko’s husband’s work and stardom form the hurdle for her because it keeps him from spending time with her. Both women are very frustrated and anguished because of their life circumstances. Their souls are very delicate and with that delicacy, they try in vain to keep their husbands close to themselves.